They say pride comes before a fall and I bruised yours, didn’t I. Like a ripe peach in the palm of my hand, I gripped so tight the juices ran clear between my fingers and down my arm. You simply stood there, that cold look in your eye. I never did it purposefully, mind. I was just trying to be honest. I’m always just trying to be honest.

Especially after the time I broke that poor boy’s heart, with my selfishness and lack of care. Damn near destroyed him. I couldn’t look at love the same way after that. The weight of every word, every choice, hung heavy on me and I knew I had to learn. I couldn’t, in deed wouldn’t, let that happen again, I said. Not on my watch.

Yet I soon came to find how easy it is, when you’re the fair one, the kind one, the soft one, for the world to trample on you and rip you to shreds. Maybe that’s because not everyone’s inherited the burden of a conscience yet, or perhaps most people have simply never killed before. A heart that is. As gentle and amiable as they are. The way they beat a little faster with that flicker of desire and yet how they harden just as fast, given reason to.

I’m still trying to soften mine to you. Even though you’ve fractured it more times than I can count and solely because I gave you permission to do so. I leant in. I trusted. Even with all my doubts and fears surrounding me like thick fog. I always chose to drive through them, holding onto your hand tightly as I did so. I might have been uncertain of our future, but I was always certain of you.

You couldn’t wade through it the same though, could you. When I’d fight, you’d flee. When I’d love, you’d leave. Your constant uncertainty not aided by mine. Fickle little creature that you were, not yet sturdy on your legs enough to run towards what you craved most. So now you speak sweet nothings into your own ears at night. Convince yourself that solitude is enough. Solitude is safe ground for you to graze.

And whilst your stand is still and your eyes glaze over with that detachment I know only too well, your bruised heart still speaks to me in words of longing. Hidden in the lines. Hidden in the silence. Hidden in the house you now call home. You place my memory in a box, housed upon a shelf, in a room you never grace, so as to avoid me.

You spend your days writing graceful prose on love and life, yet never quite commit to either off the page. You’re simply always running into things on your way from escaping something else. Everything becoming a stepping stone onto something new and often times, your feet barely land before they take flight again. Hardly leaving a footprint, although one that soon becomes entrenched. Not washing away as easily as tears do.

You’ll learn though. By God you’ll learn. Because we all do in the end. One day you’ll find yourself standing on the edge, looking out onto that clear blue sea, the waves crashing heavily against the rocks below and you’ll wonder what fear and freedom have really cost you when that squalid pride, you fought so hard to protect by chasing love away, is all you have left. After all, proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves.